Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick
Step Two: Prepare Towel for Sewing
Cut your towel in half lengthwise so that you end up with two halves (each will have a cut edge and a finished edge). Finish the cut edge on each towel half using an overlock or zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine or serger. I like to do this to strengthen the edge a little and clean up the ravelly bits.
My sewn towels have a different look than my crocheted ones because I pleat the towel (rather than gathering it) before sewing the top on which gives it a clean, flat look. The pleats will meet in the middle and reduce the towel to half of its original width.
My explanation may seem complicated, but once you do this a few times, you will get a feel for it and will be able to pleat it easily. Now, I can just find the middle and match up the pleats to the center while holding the towel in my hands.
First, fold the towel in half right sides together with the fold to your left.
Then, fold the top layer of the towel up and back to the left so that the new folded edge is about a third of the way from the original fold. Finally, fold the side edge back to meet the new folded edge. This creates the first pleat. Part of the right side of the towel will now show.
Carefully flip the whole towel over, holding the pleat you just made closed. Repeat the fold above on the other side. You will end up with a skinny folded stack.
Pick up your folded stack with two hands with the right side facing you. Then, using your thumbs, find the center opening and open the towel up holding the pleats on either side together. The towel will now be half the original size. Below are photos of the folded front and back.
Once your pleats are adjusted to your liking, pin them in place.
Step Three: Cut Out Pattern, Fabric and Batting
Print out your pattern. Check the dimensions to make sure they match the measurements designated on the pattern. Once your towel is folded, check the width of your pattern piece to the width of the folded towel. The pattern piece should be just a tad wider than the towel at the seam line (I used 3/8”). If your pattern piece is a different width (bigger or smaller) than the folded towel, you can either adjust your pleats or adjust the pattern itself. Once your pattern piece matches the folded towel, you can cut out your fabric and batting pieces.
You will need to cut two pieces of fabric and two pieces of thin batting. I used cotton batting left over from one of my quilting projects. You will end up trimming the batting slightly (I opted to do this rather than go to the trouble of creating another pattern piece just for the batting) after it is sewn together.
Step Four: Pin Bias Tape to Sides of Towel
Cut two pieces of bias tape 18-22” long (if you like to tie a big bow, use the longer measurement). Open the bias tape so that the center is exposed, leaving the side folds as they are. Wrap the opened bias tape around one edge of the towel so that the right side of the tape is against the towel with the long edge going away toward the bottom of the towel. Repeat on the other side. The top, raw edge of the tapes should match the cut edge of the towel. Hopefully, the photo below will more clearly explain what I am saying. Pin the tapes in place.
Please click here for finishing instructions!